All was well in biotech last week, even as the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite shed 3 percent. The BioCentury 100 traded up 2 percent, while $856.3 million was raised in six underwritten deals that included a quartet of IPOs and two follow-ons. Perhaps more importantly, all the financings brought in more than they had originally hoped: both follow-ons jacked up their deal size and priced considerably higher than their price at filing. In the IPO group, two deals were bumped up in size, with one pricing at the top end of the range and the other pricing $1 above the top end; the other two deals priced at the top end of their ranges (see "Makin' Money").

The follow-ons were highlighted by Protein Design Labs' $355.3 million deal, in which the antibody company sold 3 million shares at $118.438. PDLI added 500,000 shares after it saw its price rise $20 (31 percent) on the road. Cancer play NeoPharm (NEOL) added 200,000 shares to its follow-on and ended up raising $106.5 million through the sale of 3 million shares at $35.50. NEOL's price nearly doubled from its filing price of $19.375.

Secondary demand remained strong as well. All six of the deals traded up over the week. Indeed, two of the IPOs - ag bio play Eden (EDEN) and protein chip developer Ciphergen (CIPH) - at least doubled.

Sensing the strong demand, five companies (four follow-ons and one IPO) rushed to file for $1.5 billion of offerings. The most ambitious is Millennium (MLNM), which would carve out $863.4 million if it sold its 5.5 million offered shares at its price prior to filing of $156.984. Other follow-ons include cancer and infectious disease discovery play OSI Pharmaceuticals (OSIP, $316.7 million); cardiovascular play Corvas (CVAS, $112.5 million); and metabolic play Insmed (INSM, $70.6 million).

Meanwhile, Adolor is resurrecting its 6 million-share IPO, which it postponed in April. The company, which is developing drugs for neurological disorders and pain management, even pushed up its price range to $15-17 from $12-$14.

Mezzanine activity

With the IPO and follow-on markets sizzling, private companies are hurrying to put their ducks in order by adding cash and blue chip investors in mezzanine rounds. Eos, a genomics, bioinformatics and drug discovery company, raised $27.5 million in a mezzanine round that included investments from two banking firms: U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray; and Roberston Stephens. And FibroGen, which has developed a method to produce human collagen and gelatin in recombinant systems, raised $56.5 million in a venture financing led by Franklin Templeton Investments and American Express Financial Advisors.